Attention students : the path to success has a price and no map

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A couple months ago I went through Mock Interviews with local high school students. The two previous weeks, I spent time with these same kids teaching them how to prepare for these very same interviews. For many of them it was the first time interviewing let alone having a conversation (speaking or texting) without their cell phone.

There was a common thread here. Most of them wanted their “own business” but obviously knew nothing of the path they needed to travel. So I shared this quick reality check in one form or another and then moved forward on their career path.

The Real Deal

“You are not a real owner unless you’re the one who has to make payroll and take responsibility for every single problem. Unless it’s your rear on the line personally; unless everybody else gets paid first and you get paid last, you are not the real owner. That person who owns a three-person lawn service and handles his business is more of a true owner than 95 percent of corporate C levels and directors. Because it’s his rear on the line. Because I have to have reserves to cover a slow month. Because I have employees who have families. These are real owner issues and if you don’t understand it’s because you’re not a real owner.”

Once their eyes, now the size of saucers closed a bit, we began talking about their career paths.

My questions were:
● Is the path you’re on the one you want to be on?
● Is your path moving you forward at the pace you’d like?
● Does your path allow you the opportunities for growth and service?
● Does your path cross with people you want to surround yourself with?
● Is your current path actually taking you the direction you truly want?

If not, how do you get yourself on one that does?

Take The Path Less Traveled

Most people are not, I repeat NOT, on a path that would get them where they want to go. In other words, our daily decisions — small and large — are a reflection of our course. (this is from my favorite author)

“Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” — Steven Pressfield

Act sooner than you’re ready. You’ll never feel ready. Listen to your intuition. It’s speaking to you right now. The more you ignore it, the harder it will be to hear. The more you heed it, the louder and clearer it will be.

It can be scary putting yourself on an epic path in life. If you’re like most people, you are sensitive to the risks and uncertainty involved in what you truly want to do.

The Right Place To Make Decisions

The best way to do that is to get you into a passionate state, and make committed decisions from that state. Eventually, you’ll need to act. That act will undoubtedly feel risky. But with an emphasis on the rewards and results, you’ll be willing to take that risk. If the rewards are compelling enough, you’ll act without delay. The highest rewards are not material, but purpose-centered.

Again, this is very different from acting impulsively and regretfully.

Make the decision. Commit to the decision. Put yourself in a mental and emotional state to act on your highest intuitions.

Achieve the life you want. Don’t give-in to lesser goals simply because they have clearer paths.

The longer you wait, the longer it will take to get where you want to go. The opportunity cost of procrastinating your decisions is enormous.

Go. Now.

This column is by Ritchie Lucas, Founder of The Student Success Project and Think Factory Marketing. He can be reached at 305-788-4105 or via email at and on Facebook and You Tube as The Student Success Project.

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